Who doesn’t want a comfortable living environment? It can easily be done by using high tech cooling and heating systems but with sky high bills. Additionally, home insulation also prevents mold growth and also maintains a calm and quiet atmosphere by eliminating noises.
What Insulation Actually Does?
Basically here is what happens. In the summer months, it prevents the cool air from air conditioners from escaping and slows the process of the warm air outside from entering the house.
In the winter months the heat supplied by heaters flows towards the unheated rooms and areas of the house and also escapes the house. Modes of transfer of heat are roofs, walls, floors and any other areas with a temperature difference.
How Insulation is Rated
How can insulation be measured? The unit of measurement is called R-value which is the rate of resistance a specific insulation can provide. The R-value is directly proportional to efficiency of the insulation system.
These days’ new building code lists recommends the R-value appropriate to your climatic conditions. Any faults or deficiency in the installation could result in compromised productivity of the insulation. It could lower the R-value and the material would not live up to its original potential. Therefore, it is essential to follow the instructions to proper installation provided with the insulation or seek professional help.
Signs Your Home in Poorly Insulated
If you need observable evidence that your home is poorly insulated then look out for mold growth in your house, cool floors and walls during the winter time, excessive warm air in the summers, high energy bills and inefficiency of heating and cooling systems.
Different Types of Insulation
The type of insulation you install in your home depends on where you are insulating and what R-value is needed. There are different types available on the market to serve different needs. Here is a brief description of the most commonly used products used:
Fibreglass: This is particularly harder to install and comes in the form of rolls and is easily available. The resistance it provides or R-value is 3.38. Side effects of installation include skin irritation and to prevent this, you need to wear gloves, long sleeved shirt and pants as to not expose any skin. For extra safety measures, wear a respiratory mask and eye protection.
Polyester: This kind of insulation is environmentally friendly because it is made from recycled plastic bottles and is also known as Recycled PET insulation. The absence of fibreglass, dust particles and chemicals makes it free from risk of allergies. Its green in colour and the material is soft. Recently it has taken over and is quickly becoming the most widely used insulation product in South Africa. R-value it offers is 3.37. No safety gear is needed during installation; a dust mask maybe if your roof is dusty.
Cellulose: This is usually used for insulating roofs since the material is loose-fill. Chemicals are a large part of the manufacturing process so it is recommended to hire a professional to install cellulose. During installation, again all safety measures need to be dug out; gloves, mask, eye goggles, long sleeved shirt and pants.
Safely Working with Insulation
Older homes could have vermiculite insulation in the roof which might contain asbestos already installed. Due to this, old pipes and ducts could also be full of asbestos.
If you do not have accurate knowledge of the material used prior, then you need to hire a professional insulation installer to test the material and uninstall it. Municipalities have defined a certain method of disposal of old cellulose fiber or other types of fibreglass. You need to find out the disposal method from your local waste management facility.